Mushroom microdose. Psychedelic drugs have been capturing the attention of doctors and patients alike, for their increasingly proven potential to effect long-lasting improvements in the mental health of people who are suffering from conditions such as treatment-resistant depression. Microdosing of psychedelic substances such as LSD or psilocybin involves taking a fraction of a regular dose (a subperceptual dose) that is much lower than one would take if one wanted to “trip” or hallucinate on these substances. Mushroom microdose.
Many people share the idea that microdosing with psychedelics enhances one’s mood, creativity, concentration, productivity, and ability to empathize with others. Or could the benefits be an “expectancy effect”? This means that most people who take a daily pill that they fervently expect will help them feel happier and smarter will feel like they are happier and smarter — just from taking the pill, regardless of what’s in it.
There isn’t a single, clearly recognized definition of microdosing for any psychedelic drug, and this complicates attempts to perform consistent research. One definition is approximately 1/5 to 1/20 of a recreational dose. (From anecdotal experience this is accurate, as a medium-strength dose of psilocybin is 2 to 3 grams of dried mushrooms, and a microdose is typically around 0.3 grams.) One obstacle is that the potency of mushrooms can vary greatly, as they are not regulated outside of clinical trials, so this isn’t an exact science. Likewise, LSD is an invisible, tasteless, odorless substance that usually comes either in liquid form or embedded into a piece of paper to be slipped under the tongue.
We don’t know as much about safety as we might have learned if not for the War on Drugs, which curtailed much of the research into psychedelics starting in the late 1960s. This research has been renewed over the last five to 10 years, and many medical centers are conducting research on psychedelics. Psilocybin is generally thought to be safe in low dosages and has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples. However, if one takes too large a dose it can result in a terrifying — even traumatic — experience.
Psilocybin is a compound produced by almost 200 species of fungi (mushrooms), and the mushrooms must come from a trusted source. It is very easy to poison oneself with the wrong type of mushroom, as there are many types of mushrooms in nature that can look quite similar to each other, but some are poisonous and can harm your liver, causing severe illness or even death.